The first official investigation into British pandemic policy has published its report. The investigation was conducted by the British Parliament and is highly critical of the government and its scientific advisors. Decisions made by the government during the early weeks of the epidemic described the investigation as “one of the biggest public health failures in British history”.
What does the investigation say something went wrong?
According to the investigation, the UK waited too long to shut down the community in the spring and winter of 2020. It is estimated that it cost thousands of lives. The British government’s policy during the first weeks of the epidemic was based on trying to achieve “herd immunity”, according to the new report. Boris Johnson followed the recommendations of the government’s scientific advisors.
The inquiry wrote that there is a categorical mentality among British decision-makers which means that these councils have not been sufficiently questioned. On March 16, 2020, the government’s scientific advisors changed their recommendations, but the UK didn’t shut down until a week later.
According to the investigation, which parts of Britain’s epidemic policy were successful?
The UK’s vaccine program has been highlighted as very successful. Jeremy Hunt and Greg Clark, chairs of the parliamentary committees that produced the report, said in a joint statement that “British pandemic policy has marked some major successes and two major mistakes. It is important that we as a country learn from both.”
What does this matter politically?
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is on holiday and has not commented at the time of writing. In the UK, there is a general perception that the government has been too slow to close borders and shut down society. The British know that infection tracing hasn’t worked well for a long time and most people see the vaccine program as very successful. In this sense, the report says nothing new.
Rather, it confirms the image that most citizens have already received of the epidemic policy through the media. So it is not likely to affect their attitude towards the government. On the other hand, the inquiry may have more significance in how the authorities and the government deal with future crises in the UK.
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